Types of Bullies
Sadistic, narcissistic bully
Lacks empathy for others. Has low degree of anxiety about consequences. Narcissistic need to feel omnipotent. May appear to have a high self esteem but it is actually a brittle narcissism.
May have low self esteem or be depressed. Influenced by the surrounding social climate. May use whining or tattling or be manipulative.
He/she is less likely to be part of a group. His/her bullying is more spontaneous and may appear more random. He/she has difficulty restraining him/herself from the behaviour even when authorities are likely to impose consequences. He/she is also likely to be bullied.
Physical bullies are action-oriented. This type of bullying includes hitting or kicking the victim, or, taking or damaging the victim's property. This is the least sophisticated type of bullying because it is so easy to identify.
Verbal bullies use words to hurt or humiliate another person. Verbal bullying includes name-calling, insulting, making racist comments and constant teasing. This type of bullying is the easiest to inflict on others. It is quick and to the point. It can occur in the least amount of time available, when no one else is around and its effects can be more devastating in some ways than physical bullying because there are no visible scars.
The lack of visible scars often leads people to think that the victim is exagerating and so cutting off support that the person needs as there is no visible trail for others to follow.
The effects of bullying on a victim can be a good clue also any other reports about the bully, talking to co-workers and discussing it with the bully looking at how they behave when confronted with whats happened. The last needs to be done with care as it may make matters worse for the victim.
Stressed, impulsive or unintentional bully
Occurs when someone is under stress or an institution is undergoing confusing, disorienting changes. This is the easiest to redirect.
This includes hateful emails and cyber stalking. Some feel that employers who monitor employees' email are using intimidation but this position can be debated. If it is used unfairly, it can be seen as intimidation.
Bullying perpetrated by subordinates (such as boss being bullied by an employee, nursing staff being bullied by a patient.)
An individual who repeatedly intimidates or harasses one individual after another. A victim is selected and bullied for an extended period of time until he/she leaves or asserts himself/herself and goes to Human Resources (HR)
The bully sometimes deceives HR by being charming while the victim appears emotional and angry.
Since there are often no witnesses, HR may accept the account of the bullying staff member, possibly a serial bully. The bully may even convince the organization to get rid of the troublesome victim. Once the victim is out of the organization, the bully usually needs to find a new victim. This is because the bully needs someone on whom he can project his inner feelings of inadequacy. The bully may prevent others from sharing negative information about him by sowing conflict.
If the organization eventually realizes that it has made a mistake, it can difficult for them to publicly admit as they feel to do so might make them legally liable.
This is very risky for the company.
A good set of policies and procedures should be in place to avoid this problem.
Others in the office or social group start to react to bullying by imitating or joining in on the behaviour. This can lead to institutional bullying. Even if the primary bullying individual is removed, the secondary bullies may fill in the gap because they have learned that this is how to survive in this organization.
Two individuals, sometimes people who are having an affair, or who are just peers collude to intimidate others. The participation of the second individual may be covert.
The primary bully gathers a number of followers. He may be a loud, highly visible leader. If he is a quieter sort, his role may be more insidious. Some members of the group may actively enjoy being part of the bullying. They like the reflected power of the primary bully. If the primary bully leaves the organization, and the institution does not change, one of these individuals may step in to fill the shoes of the primary bully. Others of the gang join in because they feel coerced. They fear that if they do not participate, they will be the next victims. Indeed some of these individuals do become victims at some point in time.
Pressure bullying or unwitting bullying
Is where the stress of the moment causes behaviour to deteriorate; the person becomes short-tempered, irritable and may shout or swear at others. Everybody does this from time to time, but when the pressure is removed, behaviour returns to normal, the person recognises the inappropriateness of their behaviour, makes amends, and may apologise, and - crucially - learns from the experience so that next time the situation arises they are better able to deal with it. This is "normal" behaviour and I do not include pressure bullying in my definition of workplace bullying.
Is where a serial bully forces their target to comply with rules, regulations, procedures or laws regardless of their appropriateness, applicability or necessity. Legal bullying - the bringing of a vexatious legal action to control and punish a person - is one of the nastiest forms of bullying.
It is often done "upwards" with financial gain in mind however this is not always the case.
Is the bullying of all kinds that continues after the serial bully has left. Like recruits like and like promotes like, therefore the serial bully bequeaths a dysfunctional environment to those who are left. This can last for years.
Is where employees are bullied by those they serve, eg teachers are bullied (and often assaulted) by pupils and their parents, nurses are bullied by patients and their relatives, social workers are bullied by their clients, and shop/bank/building society staff are bullied by customers. Often the client is claiming their perceived right (eg to better service) in an abusive, derogatory and often physically violent manner. Client bullying can also be employees bullying their clients.
Is similar to corporate bullying and arises when bullying becomes entrenched and accepted as part of the culture,and all of this is without consultation.
# People are moved
# Long-existing contracts are replaced with new short-term contracts on less favourable terms with the accompanying threat of "agree to this or else"
# Workloads are increased
# Work schedules are changed
# Roles are changed
# Career progression paths are blocked or terminated
# May occours when an organisation struggles to adapt to changing markets, reduced income, cuts in budgets, imposed expectations, and other external pressures.
Or where the employer abuses employees with impunity knowing/thinking that the law is weak and jobs are scarce, eg:
# Coercing employees to work after hours days or weeks on a regular basis then making life hell for (or dismissing) anyone who objects
# Dismissing anyone who looks like having a stress breakdown as it's cheaper (in the UK) to pay the costs of unfair dismissal at Employment Tribunal (eg £50K maximum, but awards are usually paltry) than risk facing a personal injury claim for stress breakdown (eg £175K as in the John Walker case)
This behaviour can back fire on the company but short sighted employers may take the risk.
# Deems any employee suffering from stress as weak and inadequate whilst aggressively ignoring and denying the cause of stress (bad management and bullying)
# "Encourages" employees (with promises of promotion and/or threats of disciplinary action) to fabricate complaints about their colleagues The above 2 are very risky but go on never the less.
# Employees are "encouraged" to give up full-time permanent positions in favour of short-term contracts; anyone who resists has their life made hell.
# The following may be a normal practice, especially for a big company but the employee should be made aware of the practices when they go for the interview. The company must also make sure that the practices are not abused in any way and should also study the Data Protection Acts about collection and acess to information
Listening in to telephone conversations, using the mystery shopper, contacting customers behind employees backs and asking leading questions, conducting covert video surveillance (perhaps by fellow employees), sending personnel officers or private investigators to an employee's home to interview the employees whilst on sick leave, interview the moment they return from sick leave. And possibly other practices that may be taken as bullying if the employee is unaware of them.